Last week marked a big milestone in our home – my oldest had her first week of church summer camp. I was interested to see how she would do with five full days of activities, but each night she came home exuberantly telling me how she climbed the giant rope ladder, did archery or sang funny songs. On the last day of camp the families were invited to a special closing ceremony. At one point during the ceremony they shared how many minutes that week the campers spent in meaningful conversation with Christian role models (300) compared to minutes watching TV or playing video games (0).
As I sat there I couldn’t help but remember my time as a camper. Each year from seventh grade through twelfth I packed up my footlocker and headed to a week of Christian athletic camp at a nearby high school. Those weeks are among some of the best of my life. Through competition, discussion, mentorship and fellowship I forged some amazing friendships and saw what my relationship with Christ could be like. I remember vividly the closing ceremonies we had at camp, the one we did before our parents came, where we worshipped together and cried as we knew that life at home was not the same as at camp. At camp we were surrounded not only by like-minded Christians, but we were without all the pressures of regular life. In this environment it was so easy to feel His presence in everything we did.
Listening to this closing ceremony I was so happy my daughter had the opportunity for this week of life changing experiences. As a stay at home mom I have the opportunity everyday to engage with my children, but I must admit that there are days when the minutes watching TV certainly outweigh those spent in meaningful conversation and for many children this is probably a daily reality. For those kids there is an amazing program designed to give those who wouldn’t have to the opportunity to go to camp just that. It is called www.kidsneedcamp.com and their goal is to give 3000 kids a year the chance to grow in their relationship with Christ. As for my daughters experience with church camp, she already asked if she could attend the overnight camp next year. A week in fellowship, activity and adventure – I think I am ready to head back to camp!